Arbitrator Kazymanderas Jallus
Penned by the writefag known as "moonsaves", who can actually write.
A handful of stories concerning a member of the Adeptus Arbites, in the pursuit of his duties.
---Thought for the day - The Emperor is the Law. The Law protects---
CLASSIFIED DOCUMENT - IF YOU ARE NOT OF SUITED STATUS TO READ THIS ARTICLE, SEEK OUT THE NEAREST COMMISSAR OR JUDGE FOR INSTRUCTION ON DUE COURSE IMMEDIATELY.
I, Arbitrator Detective Kazymanderas Jallus of the Bastion-4 Precinct of the district Artra-Na of the planet Gariddina, file this report and hereby swear it to be the Emperor's Truth.
My assignment - as previously reported under document A223-Z - began at Precinct Bastion-4, my local and assigned Precinct. I was to gather evidence on an individual reported by the local population as being under heretical influence in an industrial settlement under the name of Charrun, some five thousand and thirty-seven miles from the Precinct exclusion zone. My role was to identify the individual in question, as well as any accomplices they may have, then determine their guilt and provide the Emperor's Judgement accordingly.
I landed in Charrun, around two miles from where the activity was reported to have taken place. Not wishing for my targets to know of my presence here - at least not until I could get a handle of their number and equipment - my initial arrival was out of official uniform. I wore a nondescript longcoat and a concealed flak vest. My hellpistol and shock maul had been arranged to be at a dead drop three hours after touchdown, so as to not attract attention to myself if I used my status to carry weaponry on board an imperial transport and thus arouse unnecessary suspicion. I was unarmed for a period of three hours, a period of which I made use of immediately.
The individual I approached outside of the station was a male, around in his sixties. He was lurched forward and clutching his hands. I assumed he was a retired factory worker, and so made him my first target.
Subject 1. Dialogue begins: AD Jallus: Excuse me sir - me and my family have just been transferred to this sector. I was wondering if you could perhaps help me with the local area? Unidentified Male: Piss off.
First contact went about as well as expected. Was not in uniform or displaying any Precinct imagery at the time. Subject nevertheless guilty of verbal assault on a representative of the Emperors' Law. Found male's identity and later arrested after assignment was complete.
ADDENDUM - JOKK HAFS - GUILTY OF BREACH OF THE ADEPTUS TERRA CHAPLINSKY VIOLATION, SACRED LAW OF HOLY TERRA - SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS HARD LABOUR. MAY THE EMPEROR'S JUSTICE BALANCE ALL ACCOUNTS.
Leaving the man to his business, I was at this point half an hour into my time, so began making my way to the dead drop location, still posing as a transferred factory worker attempting to get ground in the area. Eventually, I managed to approach another individual, well away from the crowds. A female, apparently around ten to twelve years old, though somewhat weathered in appearance. As noted in past reports, children poor at deception and thus good targets for routing their elder's heresies.
As I approached, my gut feeling was one of distrust and perhaps even hatred. There was something unnatural about this girl, though I ignored my natural instinct and nevertheless addressed her.
Subject 2. Dialogue begins: AD Jallus: Excuse me...
-at this point, subject is startled and turns to view me, scrutinizing me. I react with an expression of confusion, before continuing.-
AD Jallus: Are you alright? Has someone hurt you?
-subject watches me a moment, then turns and flees. Prior reported feeling of hatred dies down as she leave immediate area. Will cover later.-
Subject later found to be one Adrena Faria. Subject will be covered in full later in report.
ADDENDUM - ADRENA FARIA - GUILTY OF REFUSAL TO COOPERATE WITH AN OFFICER OF THE ADEPTUS ARBITES, A LAW SACRED TO HOLY TERRA - PARDONED BY ARBITRATOR DETECTIVE KAZYMANDERAS JALLUS OF BASTION-4 PRECINCT (PAPERWORK PENDING).
Put off at this point by two separate individuals, I instead watched from afar - I did not wish to seem too insistent, lest I draw suspicion. The men of the local factories all seemed to meet at a local establishment, later found to be a bar. Some others, seemingly knowing each other, made their way through the alley streets towards some common destination, though at this point I could not be sure as to their motivation and did not wish to follow in case of discovery.
I soon reached my dead drop location, which was also to be my quarters for the evening. The civilian stationed at the boarding house did not mention anything of any strange goings-on occurring anywhere near the vicinity of my room, and so I would like to personally commend the organisers of the drop for their subtly and discretion with this matter. Now having obtained my equipment, I concealed both beneath my coat and secured the door. I rested for three hours before waking and monitoring the immediate surroundings of the place. Three men were out after curfew, though this was a local law and thus not of my concern. Forward this information onto the local law enforcement of the area for use at their discretion.
I decided to visit the establishment from the previous night. Nearly all males were gone from the immediate area, all on factory detail. I was asked twice by a local policing enforcer by the name of Adrin Karin why I was not in my assigned workspace. Managed to convince him that I had yet to be assigned one and that the paperwork was pending, and that as a good citizen of the Imperium I was instead familiarising myself with my immediate surroundings in order to be a more productive citizen with the time the Emperor had granted me.
ADDENDUM - PATROLMAN ADRIN KARIN OF CHARRUN INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT - COMMENDATION FOR STRINGENT ADHERENCE TO PROTOCOL FROM ARBITRATOR DETECTIVE KAZYMANDERAS JALLUS.
ADDENDUM - PATROLMAN ADRIN KARIN OF CHARRUN INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT - FOUND GUILTY OF REPEATED HARASSMENT OF AN ADEPTUS ARBITES REPRESENTATIVE - SENTENCED TO SEVEN YEARS SERVICE IN A PENAL REGIMENT OF THE IMPERIUM AS ATONEMENT. MAY THE EMPEROR'S JUSTICE BALANCE ALL ACCOUNTS.
Second day was found to be mostly unproductive. Met no individuals on street up until around the same time as previous night, then all subjects went home and the streets were again deserted. Establishment was closed, as the day was a planet-wide holy day.
Confused at this point. If heretical behaviour were to be taking place, now would be the time, while the good Emperor-fearing citizens were off the streets. No further activity reported this night. Went to quarters and prayed for one hour, before resting for five.
Sleep was interrupted by heavy knocking on the door, and then sound of heavy blunt instrument butting at door in an attempt to bring it down. Failed on account of bed being pressed against door as I slept on the carpet, as per my usual procedure.
Quickly rose. Dialogue commences.
Subject A (Male): Come out, witch-lover! We know you're in there!
Upon hearing this confusing demand, I moved the bed, unholstered my hellpistol, then opened the door. One of the men was armed with an autogun, the others with clubs.
ADDENDUM - THREE UNIDENTIFIED MALES (STILL UNKNOWN, FACIAL FEATURES HEAVILY COMPROMISED) - FOUND GUILTY OF POSSESSION OF UNAUTHORISED WEAPON AND UNFOUNDED ACCUSATION OF HERESY ON ADEPTUS ARBITES OFFICER - SENTENCED TO IMMEDIATE EXECUTION.
Honestly satisfied that I had dispensed the Emperor's Justice for the first time in around 48 hours, I moved to escape from the window into the street below. The early morning hours made no betrayal of my movement, and so I managed to weave my way into an alleyway to collect myself for several seconds before once again departing.
Previous subject had referred to me as a "witch lover". Had only interacted with two females so far, one desk clerk who was possibly at this point collecting the three male's brain matter from her comfortable carpet, and one girl who I disliked from the offset. Went for second.
I made my way back to the station I had arrived at, keeping an eye out for the woman in the crowd. However, I spotted her almost instantly, entirely separate once again from the populace and sat down leaning against an alleyway wall. As I made my way over, two young boys also seemed to have a similar idea, though picked up rocks and began throwing them in her general direction. Mother soon arrived. Dialogue commences.
-Children's Mother: You two! Get here, now! Don't touch her - she is cursed!-
Unfortunately did not apprehend the two minors for assault as the woman stood at this point and began running away. Walked around alley corner and then gave chase. Once again gained feeling of unease and dislike as I entered her immediate vicinity. Was thinking at this point possible Chaos corruption, and grabbed her as she began to tire.
Dialogue commences. AD Jallus: Imperial citizen, I am hereby detaining you under the both authority of the Adeptus Arbites of Holy Terra and the God-Emperor himself. If you attempt to escape, you hereby damn yourself to heresy and deny yourself any rights, and will be immediately subject to the Emperor's Justice. Do you understand this? -subject nodded once. Beginning to get impression of speech impediment. Mutation?-
At this moment, a crowd of men came around the corner. I immediately cast aside my coat, displaying my flak vest with official Adeptus Arbites badge, as well as brandishing my hellpistol and shock maul.
Was not recognised, as area is far outside of precinct's usual jurisdiction and education is uncommon in area.
ADDENDUM - LARGE GROUP OF YOUTHS, IDENTITIES PENDING - GUILTY OF FAILURE TO RECOGNISE AUTHORITY OF ADEPTUS ARBITES - SUBJECT TO IMMEDIATE LIGHT VERBAL WARNING.
Dialogue commences. AD Jallus: I uphold the Emperor's Justice. Disperse before I kill you all. -several subjects at this point began to leave. The woman made one step away from me, though I yanked her with some force so that she instead fell to the floor. Perhaps pulled too hard. Still had unexplained hatred of girl. Girl made no further attempts to leave.-
Requisitioned immediate transport from station, now under no guise of cover and superstitious locals in tow. Immediately let in medical transport heading to residence at which I had been staying after I informed the operators the individuals reported to them would not be requiring their services.
Arrived at Bastion-4, suspect in custody.
Subject ADRENA FARIAH subjected to Chastener interrogation, though immediately talks for the first time and says she will only talk to me. I volunteer in order to save the Chastener time, as there is a heretic two cell blocks over in dire need of correctional procedure as he still retains the ability to walk. Despite my gut feeling, I did not allow this to influence what little I could ask. I had an urge halfway between smashing the girl's face in and simply getting up and leaving with no intention of returning. Though this unnatural feeling held me in its grip, I thought only of the Emperor and forged on.
Dialogue commences. AD Jallus: I am Detective Kazymanderas Jallus, of the Adeptus Arbites. What is your name, subject? -subject hesitates for a moment, then answers.- Fariah: A-a-..Adrena... Ad-adrena Faria. -I scrutinise her a moment, before continuing.- AD Jallus: Are you a witch, Adrena? -she frowns.- Fariah: That's... that is the word that everyone... calls me. AD Jallus: Is it true? -long period of subject hesitation-
At this moment, sounds one cell block over interrupted. Left room, securing it behind me, before waiting for two others to be present before opening the cell block door, as per protocol. Took one minute, by which time noises had stopped. Entered block with two Arbitrators in tow. Room was covered in blood on the right hand wall, all from prisoner inside. Blood made an imprint exactly same profile as the prisoner, who was currently convulsing on the ground and attempting to claw his way back up to the wall. Further investigation saw that the prisoner's facial features were disfigured and the top layer of skin on his front appeared to have been scraped off on the wall, also reducing his clothing to frayed rags.
He seemed to be attempting to press his body as far as he could from the block on the room's left, which was the current assigned resident of subject ADRENA FARIAH. Upon request of information, prisoner in cell was found to be a psyker of extreme minor classification and accused heretic.
Requested immediate relocation, at which he thanked us in desperate fashion and offered to tell all he knows as long as he was kept away from the room on the other side. This request was fulfilled after all information was extracted, as he was later burned in a disposal facility for sensitive objects on the other side of the planet some three days later.
Did not believe the girl a heretic. Not out of foolish notion that I feel heresy is in any way shape or form affected by the age of the subject - but simply did not believe it, despite theories of colleagues.
At this point was unsure as how to proceed. Resident Imperial Sanctioned Pysker Fallonus van Dremm would not approach thirty foot radius of subject to offer evaluation, citing extreme uncomfortableness. Nose was bleeding. Suggested his mutation was not being seen to with enough due prayer and faith.
No other individuals nearby offered expertise in field of subject.
Decided against contacting the Judge or Planetary Governor in case he felt the Inquisition would react in the form of *REDACTED*. Instead went straight to Inquisition itself. Response was prompt, within 79 days.
-The rest of the document appears to have been censored by Inquisitorial order-
---Thought for the day - To betray the law is to betray the Emperor---
-THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE AUTHORITY OF JUDGE AUDONIS GAVIK UNDER ORDER OF THE ORDO HERETICUS. THE FOLLOWING IS FOR THE EYES OF ARBITRATOR DETECTIVE KAZYMANDERAS JALLUS ALONE. MAY THE EMPEROR PROTECT THE SANCTITY OF THIS DOCUMENT.-
Arbitrator Detective, You have performed admirably in the Emperor's service. Not only have you performed your mission, but you have exacted the Emperor's holy judgement on all who have failed him as you have done so. You are truly an exemplar to your order, and thus I have deliberated your findings with this in mind. What you have on your hands in the form of the "female subject" - the young Miss Adrena Fariah - is not a heretical influence, though this of course, will be confirmed by your Verispex department after I have forwarded them the appropriate information they require to "test".
If the Inquisitor's suspicion is correct, you are in possession of what is known as a "Blank". This will be elaborated on in person, soon enough... this brings me to the second purpose of this response.
While you are, doubtless, capable of investigation and undermining heresy under the shadows in which it hides, I am beginning to feel that after looking over your previous missions that you are quite wasted in your current role. Your records say you have never been off-world prior to arriving from the Schola Progenium. This is simply a waste of resources. Your distrust and scrutiny of the Planetary Governor and your direct superior intrigues the Inquisitor, who wishes to make you a proposition.
Documents for immediate induction of Miss Fariah into Schola Progenium basic schooling and transfer to your personal custody as an advisory role within the Adeptus Arbites once training is complete can be found overleaf, as well as your own documentation for immediate rank change from Arbitrator Detective to an Enforcer of the Adeptus Arbites.
You have three days to rest your affairs, after which you are to await further instruction from the Inquisitor. Pray to the Emperor, so that you may continue to serve him as well as you have in the past.
Sincerely, Felmin Savvador, Personal Aide to Inquisitor Trennis Jakorson of the Ordo Hereticus.
---Thought for the day - Ask not for whom the Inquisition seeks, lest it be yourself---
The Falkran IncidentEdit
"By order of the Planetary Governor, curfew is now in effect! All non-essential security personnel are to turn in their weapons for immediate confiscation! Do not-" The man on the other end of the vox caster was swiftly cut off with a yelp as a lasbolt crackled just above his left shoulder. The streets below were in a state of anarchy - unrest ruled as gangs from the slums began gathering below the residential areas, many with numerous quantities of illegal and prohibited weaponry.
Even as the deafening noise of thousands of souls fighting and screaming filled the streets, the equally thunderous noise of a Valkyrie's engines roared into the scene. The crowd stopped dead - uneducated as they were, they knew that was not a vehicle the planet's PDF could afford to keep on hand. Falkran was a poor planet. It was poor in all exports apart from metals vital to the production of the Imperium's war machines. One would think that this would make the planet rather rich and prosperous, overall. One would be wrong.
Due to an old slight caused by a Planetary Governor two terms of office earlier (who was promptly mysteriously poisoned by eating an undercooked species of mineral crab - a local delicacy he had always professed to dislike), the current Planetary Governor had been landed with a colony low on both manpower and supplies. Doubtless, some long-lived requisitionary officer somewhere in the Administratum still held a grudge against the planet's office, devoting his energies less to keeping a mining facility with much-needed metals operational and more towards making it a living hell for whoever happened to be in charge.
And so, this spiteful individual must have been laughing (if he was still alive and if then, still remembered or cared about the planet he had neglected to resupply) as the Valkyrie thundered onwards into the horizon. The members of the crowd still stood there, watching it go, before continuing their destructive raid.
Then it happened.
Amidst the lasbolts and explosions that filled the night sky, a single blue, pulsating figure on a gravchute came into view. Only some saw it before the man was upon them, so foolish and dangerous an act that only the most insane would dare attempt it.
Or perhaps only the most faithful.
He descended faster now, only pulling up when he was a few meters above the ground, gliding over the heads of the crowd and coming to rest on an overturned Chimera. He cracked his shoulder, observing both those who had turned to him in confusion and those who had yet to acknowledge their judgement. Heavily reinforced carapace armour adorned him from head to toe, the only break in it being his exposed jaw, his teeth gritted together as he began to deliver his ultimatum. He pressed several keys on his armpad, a screeching pounding through all of the vox-announcers in the area. "Silence!" And then there was, the only noise being the man's cape as it clapped in the breeze.
"I am Enforcer Kazymanderas Jallus of the Adeptus Arbites. I represent the law of Holy Terra, and by extension, the will of the God-Emperor of Mankind. Disperse now." Several - armed only with whatever cast of melee weapons they could find - did so. Many stayed, confident with their weaponry and numbers that they could hold their ground against this new development. Without another word, Jallus picked the pin out of a grenade and promptly threw it into the crowd. So fast and casual was this action, they barely reacted before an explosion rocked them. Limbs went everywhere, the men and women screaming and trampling one another in the enclosed street as they desperately attempted to get away from the confusion. Some held their ground, perhaps deserters from the PDF of the planet, returning fire with whatever they had. As the Arbites crouched down and took cover behind the wreckage of the Chimera, autogun rounds bouncing and glancing all around him, he simply took out another grenade. And then another.
Soon all that littered the streets were the dead and the dying, as well as pieces of both. Several lonely figures lay amongst the gore, desperately rasping for breath. Slowly, the Arbites drew his hellpistol and planted a single round into each of them, occasionally finding a survivor who had bunkered down and dealing with them accordingly.
The enclosed space and lack of cover other than the Chimera was why he had chosen this street as his point of entry, but it was - after all - only one street. Thousands more rioters still plundered the surrounding area from the hundred or so he had killed, hopefully not converging on his position. He was low on grenades now, and could not afford to allow any more of the rioters to impede his progress to the mission objective before reinforcements arrived. They could make things more complicated than they needed to be. Crouching down for one moment, Jallus raised his arm-mounted vox recorder back to his mouth. "Subject - large crowd of mixed gender, age, and planet of origin. Crime - rioting, looting, damage to the property of the Emperor and his Imperium. Verdict - guilty. Punishment - immediate execution. May the Emperor's judgement balance all accounts."
Content that he had followed the proper procedures, he took out his auspex. The planetary palace was easily within view and reach from where he was, and thus, so was his target.
In the Imperium, it matters not the circumstances under that one fails. It only matters that they have failed. The Planetary Governor was guilty of failing to keep an important mining outpost both productive and under control. Thus, he would be subjected to the Emperor's judgement. Jallus kept watch for a moment, weaving his way through the streets under the cover of darkness as groups of looters and rioters rampaged their way through. Annoyed that these were merely secondary objectives in his new role, he managed to summon the willpower to prevent himself from administrating judgement on them and compromising his position. Once reinforcements arrived, they would be dealt with soon enough. Seizing opportunity, the Enforcer moved to a shuttered entrance on the outer wall. A PDF guard spotted him, and fired a warning shot. Jallus stood there, examining the hole in the ground the lasbolt had caused, before proceeding to open the vox channel once more.
"PDF forces. I represent the authority of Inquisitor Trennis Jakorson of the Ordo Hereticus. You are to clear any obstacles between myself and the Planetary Governor, or else be found guilty of disobediance of the will of the Inquisition, the lightest sentence I can provide for which would be death." In the darkness, Jallus squinted across the wall to see two PDF troopers engaged in heavy discussion, before the shutter came up after a brief period of silence.
"Your orders are to hold off against all who approach until reinforcements arrive. Desert or otherwise disobey my instructions, and I will personally draw and quarter you via use of my extraction vehicle. Carry on, Guardsmen."
The palace was well-maintained and garishly decorated, servants apparently still dutifully cleaning bedrooms and fetching food and refreshments to the noblemen despite the warzone on their doorstep. It was clear that while the Planetary Governor had no outside sources of income, he was still extremely wealthy planetside. Even after two weeks of seiging rioters, it was apparent that the man still led an excessive lifestyle. Evidence of his guilt was mounting, not that any more was required.
"You." Jallus grabbed a servant by the collar, dragging her to the wall beside him and slamming her into it. Ten dirty antique plates, probably hundreds or thousands of years old, smashed to the ground. "Where is the Governor's room?" Panicking, the girl pointed across the hallway, up the stairs, where two large looking men stood outside of the door. Letting her drop, Jallus moved on, the other servants getting well out of his way as his cape trailed up the stairway.
The two huge figures at the door squinted at him. "Who're yoo?" It was apparent now that these individuals were Ogryn. Jallus had never seen one before. They seemed to fit the part of the stories of their brutish ugliness and stupidity quite well. "A man who can now serve you with the crime of failure to recognise the authority of an Adeptus Arbites representative, a crime I can easily have you executed for. Move aside." The larger of the two, the one on the right, merely snorted. "Wot's 'Deptus 'Arby-tees? Don' tek orddas from yoo." The other Ogryn grunted, the rasping of a chainsword backing him up. He raised his pistol, shooting a hail of lasfire from his hellpistol before the sluggish simpletons could react. To his horror, the one at which he had painted at least four shots to the cranium of slumped back against the wall with a heavy grunt, holding his head, and then raised to his feet. The other growled loudly as they both prepared to no doubt attempt to cause him some form of serious bodily harm. Jallus cocked his head at them, moving back his cape as his shock maul was slowly unclipped from his belt. He flipped a setting on it a moment, a crackle filling the air. "This is your last warning. Relent now, and I shall only have you serve fifteen years in an Imperial Guard penal regiment."
He was answered with an attempt of a chainsword to the face. Managing to raise his shock maul in time, the weapons clashed. Knowing full well he could not overpower the creature in such a struggle, he flipped another setting on his maul as he was brought down to one knee. As electricity coursed through his weapon, so too did it flow up the creature's chainsword and into the creature's body. The Ogryn offered a loud yelp, collapsing and convulsing on the ground as the other roared and charged in revenge of his companion. Going from momentum, Jallus swung his maul at the unprotected hide of the creature, scraping it across the eyes. It howled in pain, going off-angle in its charge but throwing its shoulder up to meet the Enforcer as it did so, resulting in him flying across the room.
Colliding with a wooden banister, it splintered below the impact and weight of his armour. He sat there a moment in shock, steadily allowing his lungs to remember how to breathe. He had had enough of this. Getting to his feet, he looked across the room only to be greeted by two fully stood Ogryn - one holding its eye, both incredibly angry looking. "Dat 'Deptus Arby-tees got mah eye!" It roared in irritation. This was not going to end well, if it was allowed to continue. Frantically ripping his rebreather from his armour, Jallus rummaged on his belt as the Ogryns lumbered around the corner of the stairwell to get within straight charging distance. Finally finding what he was looking for, he threw it across to the Ogryn. "Catch."
It did so, looking down with an expression of beffuddlement, shortly before the spherical object spewed green gas in his face. The choke grenade having found its mark, both of the creatures fell to the ground clutching at their throats as their windpipes began to close tight. The affect would only be temporary, and so Jallus worked quickly. With all of the Emperor's fury, he raised his shock maul and brought it down with as much strength as he possibly could on each of the creature's heads. It took a good two minutes' worth of work on each of them to finally crack their skulls, the Enforcer on his knees and panting into his rebreather as he finished his work. Not allowing himself to rest for more than a few seconds, he struggled to his feet. The servants had gotten well clear of the gas as if they had not scattered from his initial arrival, they had surely fled when he began his confrontation with the creatures. Even as he seized up the Governor's door and began to kick it down, he spoke into his vox recorder.
"Subjects: two unnamed Ogryn, Planetary Governor's guard retinue... review colony records at a later date for more information. Crime: failure to recognise the authority of an Adeptus Arbites representative, attempted murder of an Adeptus Arbites representative, obstruction of justice, two personally recommended unnofficial charges of several counts of refusal to die after being hit in the head by a blunt instrument. Verdict: guilty. Punishment: immediate... drawn out execution."
The door caved, crumpling inwards as he shifted to clearing the debris with his gauntlet. The bedroom was even more decorated than the rest of the palace. Everything reeked of rare woods, and the stuffed head of some form of Tyranid was mounted on the wall. Frowning beneath his helmet, Jallus walked in, pistol drawn. There were several wardrobes, closets, and cupboards in the area, and so he got to work.
"Planetary Governor Harin Gurr von Stralek. I am Enforcer Kazymanderas Jallus, here at the Inquisitions' behest." He smashed one of the wardrobes in. Empty. He moved onto the next, his hellpistol still raised. "Do not think that you can hide, Governor. The Emperor is the law, and the law is the Emperor. You cannot deceive either."
"Planetary Governor Harin Gurr von Stralek. I am Enforcer Kazymanderas Jallus, here at the Inquisitions' behest." He smashed the next wardrobe in. Empty. He moved onto the next, his hellpistol still raised. "Do not think that you can hide, Governor. The Emperor is the law, and the law is the Emperor. You cannot deceive either."
A cool breeze rolled in as he smashed in another cupboard. A cool breeze...
Snarling, Jallus ran over to the balcony, the curtains now flapping into the room as the cool night air filtered in through the previously closed window. Rushing out to the carved stone handrail, he could see nothing in the darkness. He flipped his gauntlet, a light illuminating some distance within the his surroundings, just as a muffled grunt reacted in surprise to his right. Spinning around with his pistol raised, he was greeted with the sight of the Planetary Governor in his night garments, a much younger woman by his side as they pressed against the side of the building. Jallus lowered his pistol, scowling. "Governor, return to the balcony and allow yourself to be put in my custody. I will guarantee your safe passage to the Inquisition." The Governor let out a panicked laugh, the young woman beside him still with a terrified expression on her face as they stood mere millimeters from falling to their dooms. "And... and what happens when I reach the Inquisition? I am punished for my percieved 'crimes'?!"
"It depends entirely on your co-operation. At the very least, let the woman go. At the very worst, you will be executed for your failures in keeping the planet secure. Continue obstructing me in my duties and your charges will have the entire noble family investigated for heresy." The man burst into tears, sobbing as he swerved on the balcony, the girl still tightly in his grip. And then he was gone.
Jallus blinked. One second the man had been stood on the ridge, the next there was a bloody hole in the wall where he had been. The woman was pale white, visible even through the darkness - her hand, which the Governor had been clutching so tightly, was now gone. Cursing to himself, the Enforcer launched himself up to the building edge, grabbing her by the arm as she swiftly fainted. The wound had been cauterised. This was no bog-standard sniper. "Exitus rifle." He grunted softly, hoisting the woman inside of the Governor-sized hole in the wall and on to flat ground. He was still alive, so he must not have been an intended target. Or perhaps he was a secondary target, and something had caused him to decide against another obvious shot giving away his position...
The room shook as artillery fire began to soak into the palace. He got straight to his vox caster. "Artillery - under the authority of the Inquisition, hold your fire!" The shells did indeed let up... shortly before another salvo began. The batteries must have been out of signal range. "Throne!" Jallus yelled as the connecting wall blasted through, the room's ceiling beginning to slump down visibly. Grabbing the girl in a fireman's carry, he sprinted full-pelt through the room, just in time for the ceiling to collapse behind him. Still running as more support beams began to crumble, he yelled to his surroundings, nearly tripping over the corpse of one of the downed Ogryn. "All those who wish to live, follow me!" Several slaps of shoes on concrete behind him answered his call. The entrance was still clear, confused PDF soldiers bunkered down outside, obviously unsure how they should respond to the barrage. Jallus barely stopped. "Guardsmen! Pick up your rifles and make a path through the city! I will personally commend each and every one of you who assists me by name! The rest of you die as the cowards you are!" Inspired by this slightly Commissar-esque speech, many of the PDF troopers did as he asked, opening the gates and pouring out en masse out of the palace grounds and into the artillery-pounded streets. The rioters who dared brave the streets to attack the troopers were answered with a hail of lasbolts.
Jallus kept focused, even as the rounds occasionally scattered and he was covered in those attempting to safeguard his passage. He had to reach the extraction point just outside of the city walls, but by that time the girl on his shoulders could very well be dead, and so too would his only lead on the Governor's assassination. He had to make a decision, and fast.
"You!" He pointed across to one of the PDF troopers. "What is your name?"
The man was shaken, but his voice did not quiver as he spoke. "It's Trenks, sir."
"Take this girl into cover and prevent her from going into shock. I will be back soo-" A screaming artillery shot narrowly skimmed overhead, obliterating a building opposite to them. "Get to safety, and if she dies, it's on your head!" The man nodded in acknowledgement, taking the girl from his shoulders and resting them upon his own. Jallus had to find a way of getting in touch with the artillery batteries...
Master vox. He had to find a master vox. "Can any of you tell me if there is any signal boosting equipment nearby?" Only about half of the assembled crowd he had gathered heard him over the noise, only two of them knew anything. "The old tower had a few for mining use after the first four or five tunnel collapses. They haven't been used in months." "Where are they?" Jallus was beginning to lose patience. The trooper bit his lip. "The tower was the miner's work processing station. It was the first place they captured." He raises his hand, pointing over to a looming structure near the industrial section of the town. The Enforcer growled. This mission was not going according to how he had planned it. "Alright. We need to move through to a rebel-controlled area. If I can issue the order for the artillery to cease fire with a master vox, you all live. If not, we all die in the rubble. I assume I don't have to persuade any of you?" If he did, none of them said anything. They quickly got to work.
With the rioters having lost all direction as the palace crumbled, they were easily cut down by combined lasfire from the group. Jallus moved second from the two PDF troopers, them knowing full well none of them were surviving should he die to the rebels. It was just as well, as they weaved through the endless back alleys with ease as they led the group to the tower in the fastest route they could.
Reaching the stairwell to the tower, they found it peppered with shells and impassable. Jallus swore under his breath. "What now?" He inquired, his last solution now seemingly well out of reach. The PDF troopers looked to one another, then back to him. "We can... try to negotiate with the rebels." Jallus saw what they were getting at. The rebels were, doubtless, still in control of the tower, but with no means to get down, they would surely be more than willing to trade for their lives. Crouching down, he promptly began broadcasting via the towers vox announcers. "Attention rebel forces! I am Enforcer Kazymanderas Jallus of the Adeptus Arbites! You are all guilty of performing an armed insurrection against an oupost of the-" More artillery fire cut his speech short as he was rocked to the ground. Grunting, he got back up and resumed, cutting it as short as he could. "I am the only person here with the authority to call off the artillery strike. We need a master vox from the tower's stores so I can get a message out to artillery command."
The request was met with silence. At least at first.
A voice rang in response through the announcing system - a woman's. "What's to stop you from kill all of us afterwards?" Jallus frowned.
"Absolutely nothing. The longer you take, the more likely that particular instance will arise. Repent, and pray to the Emperor. Perhaps I will make your sentence lighter than it should be." This was again, met with momentary silence. "Throw down your weapons." "What?" "I SAID THROW DOWN YOUR WEAPONS!" The Enforcer looked to the refugees, then nodded once. "Do it." There was a clatter of equipment, barely audible over the shelling, as they disarmed. Slowly, two figures in red-painted PDF gear descended the stairway, eventually crouching down with their lasgun sights rested on the unarmed group. "Keep your eyes on them. If they try anything, shoot them." The two nodded to each other as they heard the command issued over the vox channel.
Jallus waited a moment, then continued. "Where is-" The woman interrupted him. "I have people tracking one down in the wreckage now. Once we have it, I'll turn it on and allow you your message. Backstab us, and you'll be shot." Jallus' exposed jawline twisted into a snarl. He cut off the vox, instead looking up to the two guards. "I assume you two are with the PDF?" They said nothing. "I am allowed access to all of this facilities' records. If any of your family have escaped from this, I will personally have them all investigated for heresy. If you shoot me now, they - as well as us - die anyway." The two looked at each other, before nervously cocking their rifles. The Enforcer continued. "However - you go up there and shoot them all when they aren't expecting it? I will not look into your families' files. You have my word." The two were interrupted in their mulling over of this proposition by the vox announcer screeching back into gear. "My men have located one. We're bringing it down. Continue to hold up your end of the bargain and there won't be any... mishaps." Jallus just stared daggers at the two as they shifted uncomfortably, footsteps ringing down the stairwell hurriedly.
The woman who had been speaking via the vox announcer came into view, two of her men carrying a hefty looking piece of equipment. "Right!" She called down, her laspistol trained on the group. "I've patched it to boost your signal. Feel free to make your message whenever you are ready!" She yelled, a shell striking the top of the tower and heavy rubble tumbling down the side. Jallus didn't waste another second, crouching down and reactivating his vox link.
"Attention Imperial Guard command! This is Enforcer Kazymanderas Jallus of the Adeptes Arbites! Call off your strikes on the town immediately, by Inquisitorial order!" The shelling continued for another three or four seconds, before it instantly died. There was a moment of dead silence, interrupted only by a lone voice on the other end of the vox. "...understood."
He slowly got to his feet, staring the woman down from behind his visor. "What now?" She nodded, content that the fire had stopped. "What happens now is that we keep the vox and you leave. We'll find some way down and be out of here before the IG roll through." "Keep the girl alive, please." "What-?" Their eyes closed, the two traitor PDF guards squeezed the triggers of their rifles, killing their brothers and sisters in arms in order to spare their families. Only their commander was left. "Traitorous dogs!" "Your turn to disarm, I think." Jallus nodded to the two men slowly. "Take her pistol."
They did so, even as she screamed curses at them. "You scum! The Governor and the Imperium let my children starve to death and you're taking their side!" "Throw her down. We will catch her." They did so, and threw their weapons down soon after. She was promptly bound at her hands, sobbing softly to herself.
One of them spoke, clearly a broken man by this point. "Are our families safe?" Jallus nodded slowly. "I gave my word." They closed their eyes, content. "Then get it over with. Please."
"Emperor's mercy upon you both. I pass his holy judgement and hereby pardon you and your families of all charges with relation to this uprising." He picked up his hellpistol, shooting them both. "May he balance all accounts."
The town was in ruins. Many of the streets were blocked off and impassible, but the two troopers still seemed to know exactly where they were going. He noted to himself to have them commended for their assistance, before they managed to get back to the clearing they had been at before. As they approached the street they had originally poured out into, an Imperial Chimera rolled into view, the man mounting the heavy stubber looking him over before dismounting and saluting. The guard were clearly now moving through. Jallus just looked at him breathlessly. "I'm not a Guardsman. Get past the military protocol and tell me what you need." The man nodded. "Message from the Colonel, sir. I'll patch you through." He muttered into his comm a moment, before passing over the caster to the Enforcer. "Is this Enforcer Jallus?" "Yes." There was a growl on the other of the line "This is Colonel Graff, and I want to know what in the Throne is happening out there." "Then I suggest you read my report Colonel, providing of course that you have the proper clearance. I am hereby commandeering this transport under Inquisitorial permission. Is this an issue?" The silence on the other end of the radio was more than telling. "Good. And Colonel? Do not attempt to contact me again."
With the artillery called off and the immediate rebel threat neutralised, Jallus could now take the mission at his own pace. Picking up Guardsman Trenks and his surviving Guardsmen, as well as the shaken but thankfully not dead wounded consort of the Governor, the Enforcer at least had a prisoner and a witness with whom he could return to provide his report. With a Chimera at hand, the ride to the extraction zone took less time than he had planned for, and they actually had to wait half an hour or so for the Valkyrie to arrive. Taking the group as witnesses and fully intending to follow up on his promise of commendations for the surviving Guardsmen, Jallus made for a successful extraction, performing the fool's errand of attempting to fully prepare himself to explain a failed mission before an Inquisitorial debriefing...
ONE WEEK LATER...
The office was even more well furnished than the Planetary Governor's room had been. "Enforcer?" Jallus just looked up at the source of the voice, frowning.
"I have been aboard this ship for a week now. I have filed my report and have been subjected to extensive interviews, in which I have been told that my theory of an Imperium-sanctioned assassin are at best a delusion, and at worst - heresy." Jallus stared daggers at the pompous man - he hated the Inquisitor's aide, if only for his pretentious attitude. "The Inquisitor is a VERY busy man, Mr. Jallus. I can ASSURE you that he is VERY displeased that his duties have prevented him from making your acquaintance in person, as of the moment."
"That did not address my sentiments." Jallus growled, shifting up. His ribs were still sore from the Ogryn's assault, and he had been pulling autogun bullets from his armour for the past week. He did not want to hear that after this mission it was going to be brushed over and never investigated again. He did not want to have wasted time.
"Yes, well... you were an Abritrator Detective, were you not?" "This isn't me seeing things where they aren't, making crackpot theories. Tell me the Inquisitor's response or get out of my quarters." The man scowled, clearing his throat in a stuck-up manner.
"Very well." He handed him a dataslate. Jallus studied it with only minor interest, before something caught his eye.
"This is..." The man shushed him. On the slate were orders for the arrest of a prominent member of the Administratum for misappropriation of resources.
Above, the announcing system chimed in. "The ship is currently changing course. Our new destination is Holy Terra."
Jallus leaned back, letting this wash over him for a moment.
By the Emperor.